Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday: out to eat or leftovers night

Use one of those restaurant gift cards you got from Santa or just give yourself a break and eat leftovers tonight. The Tater Tot casserole and fettuccini make great leftovers (trust me, I know!).

If you do decide to go out to eat tonight, doing a little research may save you a few bucks!
Check out this link to find places in your area where your kids can eat for free tonight!

Tuesday: Keilbasa and Saffron Rice

This is the such an easy meal and we like it around here.

Cast of characters~
89 cent package of saffron rice (yellow rice)
Keilbasa sausage
fresh snap beans

What to do:

1. Cook rice, following directions on package.
2. Snap and clean beans. Add them to water and boil until tender, don't overdo!
3. Cut up the sausage and put it into a frying pan. Cook, flipping, until both sides are done. We like ours a bit crispy.
4. Make blueberry muffins from a package and add flax seed.

Serve, and eat.

Simple and easy.

You can use the leftover keilbasa for tomorrow's lentil soup AND we like to use the leftover rice to stuff tortillas with black beans or peas for lunches.
Plus, leftover muffins are good snacks and for breakfast.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Coupon giveaways

Hi ladies! Thanks to all who have entered our giveaways in the past.

We currently do not have any giveaways.

Check back soon for more!

Friday: Fettuchini Alfredo, Salad and Garlic Bread

This is a simple meal b/c we needed a simple one after the holidays! There are lots of great homemade alfredo recipes out there (if you have a great one, I'd love for you to share!), but this week we decided to go w/ good ole' ragu and add some of our own garlic and parmesan to it.

Here is what you need:

1 jar alfredo sauce, 1 package fettuccini (or noodle of choice), parmesan cheese, garlic bread (or make your own), package of lettuce.

Step 1: Boil noodles. I always like to add some olive oil to my noodles while they are cooking to prevent them from sticking together. Also, this is the only time you have to really flavor your noodles- so add some salt also.

Step 2: Heat up Alfredo Sauce. I added a few shakes of garlic powder and some parmesan cheese. Real garlic would be great as well!

Step 3: Bake your garlic bread
Step 4: Prepare salad, drain noodles and wala!
This dish would also be great with grilled chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, fresh herbs. You name it!

Meal Serves- 6
Cost of Meal- $6.00
Cost per person- $1.00

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thursday: Tater Tot Casserole

I have had this casserole at friends' houses before, but never attempted to make it. Let me tell you, it will be a staple in this house! This casserole is so yummy, filling, cheap and versatile.

Here is what you need:

1 lb ground beef ( or turkey ), 1.5 or 2 lb bag of tater tots, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can evaporated milk (evaporated milk is recommended because it makes the casserole richer tasting than regular milk), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: Brown your ground beef, drain and place in a 9x13 casserole dish

Step 3: Mix in a bowl the 2 soups and the can of evaporated milk

Step 4: Place your tater tots on top of the ground beef. I have such good help in the kitchen! This is my daughter, Addie (2 1/2) helping mommy.

Step 5: Pour soup/milk mixture over tater tots. Place in a oven for 45-60 minutes. (If you want to add cheese, put the cheese on during the last 10 minutes of cooking)

Step 6: Once cheese is melty and dish is bubble, it's ready!

Step 7: Enjoy with a side of mixed veggies, broccoli or green beans.

I looked online for differing recipes for this casserole. Some people put mushrooms, green beans etc. in the casserole. I chose to keep it simple the first time I made it and it turned out GREAT! I was thinking it would be very easy to turn this dish into a breakfast casserole by using sausage, tater tots, the soup/milk, and cheese. I'll let you all know if I attempt it!

Meal Serves: 6
Cost of meal: $6.00 (includes veggies)
Cost per person: $1.00

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday: Taco Bar and Rotel Cheese Dip

Happy New Year's Eve! This would be a great meal to serve at your New Year's Eve party or Superbowl party (coming up next month!)

Taco Bar! So yummy! This can be as big of a taco bar or as small of one as you want to make it. The rotel cheese dip makes a great appetizer or served along side the tacos on the taco bar. I do have to apologize, in the middle of making this meal, we had to go to the basement for a few hours for a tornado warning. Can you believe that?! A tornado warning at the end of December in central Illinois! Anyway- I don't have a ton of pictures for the taco bar, but I will still share all my ideas.

Taco Bar

Here is what I used for my taco bar:

1 lb ground beef, fajita seasoning mix, shredded lettuce, tomato, flour tortillas, cheese, salsa and sour cream

Other great additions would be: black or pinto beans, guacamole, pico de gallo (cilantro, onion, tomato and a hint of lime juice chopped and mixed) or rice.

Step 1: Brown ground beef, drain and add seasoning packet.

Step 2: Get your toppings ready. Dice your tomato, mix your sour cream, dish up your salsa...

Step 3: Heat up your shells and spread your taco bar out for others to enjoy! Tthis is the part where we were down in the basement eating tacos off of our card table w/ my fellow meal planning mommy- Katie and her family. I so wish I would of thought to take a picture! It really was so much fun, but we were all a little freaked out by the weather.

Rotel Cheese Dip

Here is what you need:

Velveeta cheese (I used about 1/2 a package for 4 people), 1 can Rotel, tortilla chips and a little dipper crock pot (or just use your microwave!)

Step 1: Cut up your velveeta into chunks, place in a bowl and melt in microwave. Stop to stir every 2-3 minutes. Continue cooking until melted.

Step 2: Pour Rotel in crock pot and then pour in your velveeta. Stir, heat on low and enjoy as a dip with chips!

Prices reflect taco bar and rotel cheese dip

Serves: 4 people
Cost of meal: $8.0o (ish- depending on what ingredients you use)
Cost per person: $2.00

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday: Ham and Cheese Melts

These sounds so yummy! They are great, when cooked right and unfortunately this was a FLOP in my kitchen! I don't understand what went wrong b/c I have made these several times before. Maybe I added too much butter to the bread? I don't know for sure, but the sandwiches stuck to my pan and fell completely apart. We ended up eating them with a fork!

Don't let this deter you from trying to make your own! Let me know how your recipes go.

Here's what you need: 1 package deli ham, 8 slices of cheese (I used american), 8 pieces of bread and butter

Step 1: Cook deli ham in skillet until warmed

Step 2: While ham is cooking, add 2 slices of cheese to each sandwich. Some prefer to add one slice of cheese, then meat then more cheese. It's up to you!

Step 3: Butter the bread (does it look like I used too much?!?)

Step 4: Add your warmed ham on top of the cheese

Step 5: Top with buttered bread and place in a pan on medium heat. Cook on each side until browned and cheese is ooey gooey melty!

Step 6: Enjoy! No, at this point I don't have an end photo for you. I was TOO UPSET that they didn't turn out like I wanted to even remember to take an end photo. Plus I had two toddler girls who were starving and ready for their lunch! I served it with crunchy carrot sticks. The girls didn't seem to mind they had to eat it with a fork. :<)

Meal serves: 4
Cost of meal: $4.00
Cost per person: $1.00

Monday, December 29, 2008

M onday: Chicken and tomatoes with rice and steamed broccoli

Here is what you need:

1 lb chicken, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 2 cups uncooked rice & mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced)- as much or as little as you like.

Step 1: Place 1/2 cup (or more!) Italian dressing in a pan and heat to medium-high. Add chicken, cover and cook well on all sides.

Step 3: Cook chicken until browned. Remove from pan.

Step 4: Add undrained can of tomatoes, 2 cups of uncooked rice and 1 cup water to skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Step 5: After 10 minutes, add the chicken back to the skillet and add your mozarella cheese. Cover and cook on low for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Serve with steamed broccoli (I use the frozen green giant steamers, there are usually great coupons out there that make these a GREAT DEAL!)

Serves: 4
Cost of meal: $4.00
Cost per person: $1.00

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Frugal Table Meal Plan & Grocery List

Hey everyone! I hope you have been checking out our blog the past few weeks, there have been some yummy recipes posted by Alisha and Katie. The meal plan this week isn't as creative as I tend to like things, but after the holidays- I scaled back a little on the amount of time spent cooking in the kitchen and stuck to things I can whip up quick.

Monday- Chicken, Tomatoes & Rice w/ Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday- Cheese and Ham Melts
Wednesday- Taco Bar w/ Rotel Cheese dip
Thursday- Tater Tot Casserole w/ green beans
Friday- Fettucini Alfredo w/ garlic bread and tossed salad
Saturday- Out to eat or Pizza Night
Sunday- Chicken Quesadillas

Grocery List (unless otherwise noted, all meals serve 4)

Monday- Chicken, Tomatoes & Rice w/ Steamed Broccoli
1 lb chicken
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups uncooked instant rice

1 package steamfresh broccoli or broccoli of choice

Tuesday- Cheese and Ham Melts
1 package deli ham
4 slices american/cheddar or cheese of choice
8 slices of bread

Wednesday- Taco Bar & Rotel Cheese dip
1 lb hamburger
1 package taco seasoning
1 tomato
shredded lettuce
soft shell tacos (or hard shell)
sour cream

Cheese Dip
Velveeta (use a small box, large box- however much you want! We used 1/2 of a large box)
1 can rotel
1 package tortilla chips

Thursday- Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 lb bag of taters
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 can evap. milk
green beans

Friday- Fettucini Alfredo w/ garlic bread and tossed salad
1 package fettucini noodles
1 jar alfredo sauce
Parmesan cheese
1 package garlic bread (or make your own w/ bread, garlic & butter)
1 package tossed salad (or make your own)

Chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, extra cheese and garlic are also very good in alfredo if you want to add to your dish!

Saturday- Pizza or out to Eat Night

Sunday- Chicken Quesadillas
1 lb chicken breast
tortillas (2 per person)
Optional ingredients: Black beans, tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, bacon bits, pico de gallo